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Apostolic Movement

Croatia – Towards the installation of the Father Symbol, August 2022

By: Father Christoph Horn

The Croatian Schoenstatt Family is rejoicing over the 13th anniversary of the Queen of Hearts Shrine.  They will celebrate the day of the Pilgrim Mother for all Croatian circles and will solemnly install the Father Symbol in the Shrine.

They are especially pleased that the local bishop of Varazdin – Bishop Bože Radoš – will preside and deliver the homily at the 11 o’clock Holy Mass.

The two pastoral visits of Swiss Father Christoph Horn, during Lent and between Easter and Pentecost, were marked by these upcoming celebrations.

Reviving traditions

What was not possible at the time of the pandemic was revived this year:

Community pilgrimage to the shrine during Lent with rosary and confession, Holy Mass, lectures, and adoration.

The local parish of Mala Subotica was invited to pray the Stations of the Cross in the Schoenstatt Shrine. Their parish priest also participated.

As a sign of the bond between the Schoenstatt Shrine and the local parish, Father Horn celebrated Mass on the fourth Sunday of Lent in the parish. In turn, the local parish priest, Tomislav Kos, who is willing to help whenever he is needed, regularly celebrates the Covenant Mass in the Schoenstatt Shrine on the Sunday following the 18th of each month.

After the pandemic made Father Horn’s visits impossible to a large extent, the long-standing tradition was taken up again and in 6 weeks a total of 28 local Schoenstatt communities and 18 families were visited by Father Horn. The topics were, on the one hand, the upcoming installation of the Father Symbol in Mala Subotica (August 27) and the spiritual preparation for the “Stations of the Cross” project in the Ivanovci Shrine. Heartfelt thanks are extended to all those who contributed to the Stations of the Cross project.


Shrine in Ivanovci

Meeting of national leaders

For the first time in three years, the National Leaders Meeting was held in Ivanovci. Interest was strong, about 50 local leaders came, as well as those responsible for the various Schoenstatt projects and leagues, especially from the Women’s and Mothers’ Branch. In spite of the bad weather, the atmosphere was very pleasant, everyone was happy to be able to meet again.

The experiences of the different communities during the time of the pandemic were shared. Together they discussed how the spiritual preparation for the installation of the Father Symbol in Mala Subotica on August 27 and the “Way of the Cross” project at the Ivanovci Shrine in Eastern Croatia could be carried out. The excellent proposals were introduced at the end of the day at the Covenant celebration with the renewal of the Covenant of Love.

20th anniversary of the parish shrine of ŽupanjaIn

In the east of Croatia is the town of Županja, near the border with Bosnia and the river Sava. Twenty years ago, a beautiful wayside shrine was built there, between the Church and the Rectory. The local parish priest, his congregation and the Schoenstatt Movement were equally eager to celebrate this anniversary in a fitting way. A triduum, with prayers at the evening Masses, seemed to be the appropriate framework. Particularly impressive: an exhibition with many photographs of Schoenstatt life in the last 20 years.

Women’s and Mothers’ May Pilgrimages

Covenant of love celebration in the Ivanovci Shrine

At the beginning of May, many women and mothers were welcomed on pilgrimage with their leader, Sister Mariana Hermann, to the two Croatian shrines.

One Sunday there was a pilgrimage to the Ivanovci Shrine, where three women from different women’s communities solemnly sealed their Covenant of Love with the Blessed Mother. Another Sunday, 120 participants gathered in Mala Subotica. In addition to the meditations and the Holy Mass, the highlight was the celebration of the Covenant of Love with – unbelievable, but true – 28 women – more than ever before.

Mother’s Day – The Blessed Mother’s project in the Pilgrim Shrine also has a feast

At the invitation of the parish priest of Slavonski Brod, Father Horn was able to preach the festive sermon at the Sunday Mass on Mother’s Day and speak about the Pilgrim Shrine project.  As a result, 5 Pilgrim Mother circles were formed.

The new Stations of the Cross being built at the Ivanovci shrine.

Long before the foundation stone of the 2nd Shrine in Croatia was laid, it was envisioned to architecturally represent the entire Schoenstatt Center as a chalice and a host, as symbols of the Eucharist.

Plan where the Stations of the Cross will be placed

The base of the chalice has already been constructed in the form of a triangle (Schoenstatt Chapel and two outbuildings). In 2022 and 2023, the cup of the chalice and the host on the chalice will be completed. The shape of the cup is represented by a Stations of the Cross starting from the chapel on the left, embracing the cup and returning to the chapel on the right (14 stations – marked with small red spheres). The 15th station – the Resurrection of Christ – will be placed in the rear of the Schoenstatt Chapel. A drawing by architect Ladislav Padjen is attached.

The blessing of the Stations of the Cross is scheduled for September 2023, the fifth anniversary of the dedication of the Shrine. Perhaps you too would like to participate?


with your loved ones

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